Game day in Montreal allowed members of the Raptors organization to reach out to the community and make a difference in the lives of some great fans.
First up was the Raptor and members of the Raptors Dance Pak paying a visit to patients at Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Meanwhile, over at the Bell Centre, some local coaches affiliated with Basketball Québec were able to sit in on the morning shootaround and see how head coach Dwane Casey and his staff prepare for the evening’s matchup against the Knicks.
“The first thing you get is you’re impressed, so you need to get past that and then you start to look at the scrimmage and try to look at what they’re working on,” said Frank Jetté, coordinator of communications and marketing for Basketball Quebec and a coach of 15 years.
“You see that they’re really organized and that they’re working on really precise things and that’s a good thing to focus on before each and every game. Just know what you need to work on.”
A little closer to the action was Cedrik Dery and his father Roger. Cedrik is a patient at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital and was able to come out and watch the shootaround, followed by a meet and greet with the players. With Jamaal Magloire serving as tour guide in the dressing room, Cedrik’s visit proved to be an unforgettable one.
“[Jamaal] made Cedrik’s first-time experience of the NBA one of those once-in-a-lifetime changing and motivating eye-openers,” said Roger. “He was thrilled! Now he wants to be tall!”
As the players wrapped up shootaround, it was time for Montreal’s future basketball stars to take to the court, as Raptors alumni Tracy Murray led a skills clinic for 40 local youth.
Things wrapped up with an excellent matchup with the Knicks that night in front of another outstanding, sold-out crowd at Bell Centre, where the Raptors had one final gesture for their hosts. Team president and general manager Bryan Colangelo made a donation of $10,000 on behalf of the organization to Basketball Quebec, capping another great visit to La belle province.